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Marcos wants a tougher anti-trafficking campaign and more access to medications

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During the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Meetings with Australia and India on Saturday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. urged for closer cooperation to combat transnational crimes and enhance access to inexpensive medicines and vaccines.

Marcos thanked Canberra for supporting the Bohol Trafficking in Persons (TIP) action plan, which aims to put into effect the ASEAN Convention on TIP, Especially Women and Children, at the 2nd ASEAN-Australia Summit.

The alliance, according to Marcos, “will fortify our regional reactions and keep us abreast of the continuously shifting tactics of transnational criminals and traffickers.”

In order to enable improved access to medications and vaccines while the area recovers from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) epidemic, he further urged his fellow ASEAN leaders to collaborate closely with India.

Marcos said the Southeast Asian countries must ensure improved access to healthcare services by obtaining more affordable medications and vaccinations from New Delhi during his intervention at the 19th ASEAN-India Summit.

“Friends in ASEAN, let’s not pass up the chance to have the global pharmacy as a close neighbor and conversation partner. A healthy population is hampered by the exorbitant expense of life-saving drugs and vaccinations, according to Marcos.

Let’s collaborate closely with India to make sure our region has access to enough affordable, high-quality drugs and vaccinations, he continued.

economic expansion

Marcos continued by emphasizing the need to find strategies to maintain the region’s robust economic growth despite the pandemic.

Marcos urged Australia to continue working with the ASEAN Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Council on the economic front.

Marcos stated that the Philippines anticipates improved training and scholarships between specialists and students as the inaugural chair of the ASEAN TVET Council from 2020–2022.

It is done in anticipation of the upgrade of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area, which will further boost service trade.

In light of the Indo-Pacific region’s transformation into a “theater of geopolitics and geoeconomics,” according to the Office of the Press Secretary, Marcos also asked to intensify cooperation with India on the blue economy (OPS).

Ministers and senior officials must, in the words of Marcos, “find the intersection between maritime security and economic prosperity cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which should be balanced by the shared concern of preventing further environmental degradation allowing the region’s marine ecosystem to thrive.”

food safety

Marcos stated that the Philippines welcomes collaboration with Australia on the execution of the Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry for 2016–2025 in order to maintain food security.

In the Philippines, two of our most fundamental and important concerns are food self-sufficiency and food resilience. We must defend the area and our nations from shocks to the world food value chain as well as against the negative impacts of climate change, he said.

In an effort to address the issue of fluctuations in rice and fertilizer supply and prices, Marcos expressed his intention to work with India toward the implementation of the “ASEAN Multi-sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry Contributing to Food Security and Sustainable Development Goals.”

dealing with climate change

In a similar vein, Marcos urged his fellow political figures to combat climate change’s negative repercussions.

He expressed the hope that India would continue to support the efforts being made by the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) to stop the loss of biodiversity by managing ASEAN historic parks.

Additionally, he extended an invitation to Australia to increase its assistance to the ACB, the ASEAN organization in charge of preserving and advancing biodiversity.

In order to tackle illicit, unreported, and unregulated fishing as well as marine trash, Marcos stressed the Philippines’ commitment to upholding peace and security in the area. He also expressed his desire to expand maritime law enforcement cooperation.

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